Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley this month signed legislation amending the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) mandating light-duty and other reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees who are temporarily disabled. The Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act applies to businesses with 15 or more employees.

The amendment takes effect Oct. 1, 2013, and requires employers to accommodate pregnant employees who provide notice of a temporary disability. Employers under the law have the right to request a medical certification.

Accommodations envisioned by the act include: 1) changing the employee's job duties, 2) changing the employee's work hours, 3) relocating the employee's work area, 4) providing mechanical or electrical aids, 5) transferring the employee to a less strenuous or hazardous position, and 6) providing tempoary leave.

Under the law, the employer is obligated to provide an accomodation only if it does not present "an undue hardship" to the company.